Response to Energy White Paper
15 December 2020
The New Nuclear Watch Institute
The New Nuclear Watch Institute welcomes the commitment in the White Paper to bringing "at least one further large-scale nuclear project to the point if FID by the end of this Parliament."
After years of lukewarm support for new nuclear investment this is a more positive declaration by the UK government and raises hopes that nuclear may at last be allowed to play its rightful role alongside renewable energy in decarbonising the electricity generation industry.
It is refreshing to read the White Paper's recognition that the energy-dense nature of nuclear power means that it "provides large volumes of power from very little land area and can reduce system costs at low levels of emissions".
The document also helpfully asserts "we will remain open to further projects later of the nuclear industry demonstrates that it is able to reduce costs and deliver to time and budget." NNWI is confident that if government policy remains consistent the Nuclear Sector Deal's goal, set in 2018, of cutting the cost of nuclear new build projects by 30 per cent by 2030 is well within reach.
It is also encouraging that "the potential role of government finance during construction, provided there is clear value for money for consumers and taxpayers" will be examined. NNWI has long called for this. Now is the perfect time for government to exploit the historically low interest rates now available to equip the UK with the energy infrastructure needed to tackle climate change and lead the world towards Net Zero.